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Tue, Mar. 29th, 2011, 12:51 am
Census Meme

1971 - the year started with a bang as I was born on the 13th of Jan, and I think they decimalised in my honour :-P Probably slept a lot.

1981 - Living for the first time in Europe - home in Belgium, school in Germany. Was swimming competatively including a trip to compete with the (then) segregated Berlin - I still remember us all being scared when the armed police came on and searched the train before we could pass through.

1991 - Halfway through my BA in Music at Cardiff University, a subject that remains fiercely important to me now and without which my life would be pretty empty.

2001 - Living back in London (as an adult) in Finsbury Park with alterred  - working for a FTSE company by day and playing at being a rock star by night with D.U.S.T.

2011 - Living a complete curve-ball of a life: a responsible adult with a mortage in SE London and the most amazing daughter. Not sure how either happened but wouldn't change it for the world now. Still at the same FTSE company but have been putting plans in motion to facilitate a career change later this year. Still playing music as often as single-motherdom allows.

Sat, Mar. 5th, 2011, 10:37 am
World Book Day meme

(stolen from morbidfrog ) with a few extra questions added!

The book(s) I am reading now:
"Wise Children" - Angela Carter
"Longitude"  Dava Sobel
"The Brothers Kazamarov" - Dostoevsky
"Flashman" -
George MacDonald Fraser

Last book I read:
"Coming Up for Air" - George Orwell

Next book I will read:
"The Crimson Petal and the White" - Michael Faber

The book(s) I love most:
Too many but the main ones that spring to mind this morning are "Down and out in Paris & London" - George Orwell, "Germinal" - Zola, "The Room" - Hubert Selby Junior, "One Thousand Years of Solitude" - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" - Solzhenitsyn, "A Tale of Two Cities" - Dickens

The last book I received as a gift:
"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy found this a really light read despite the setting. Also got a copy of "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides which a friend passed on when she had finished.

The last book I gave as a gift:
"Great Expectation" & "David Copperfield" - Dickens and "Superman: Red Son" GN & "The Heroin Diaries" - Nikki Sixx, all for friend's birthdays

The last book I bought:
A treat-me shopping spree on a day out
"Death on Credit" - Louis-Ferdinand Celine
"Petersberg" - Andrei Bely
"Hashish, Wine, Opium " - Charles Baudelaire & Theophile Gautier
"The Village of Stepanchikovo " - Dostoevsky

Second-hand from a charity shop:
"A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

The nearest book:

(Not including my daughter's books) "Mid Victorian Britain 1851-70", 10p in the college library book sale.

The book I am giving away for World Book Day
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" - Mark Haddon

Sun, Dec. 12th, 2010, 07:32 pm
[#Reverb10] December 12 – Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

I think I can safely say.... never. In fact I would go so far as to say that this year has seen my mind the least integrated ever with my body. I have spent a significant proportion of this year suffering from exhaustion and stress to the extent my heart was monitored due to a high resting rate of 93. I am carrying excess weight and this never fails to feel uncomfortable. I haven't had a haircut all year. I have had surgery to remove my last wisdom tooth. I recently spent 2 weeks on antiobiotics with sinusitus. I have just been diagnosed with low blood pressure. My entire wardrobe is ill-fitting.

Nothing serious - thankfully - but pretty much all of 2010 has seen me very disjointed physically and mentally. The closest  I have got to any kind of mental & physical harmony is practising my vola bowing technique!

Sat, Dec. 11th, 2010, 12:05 pm
[#Reverb10] December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

I don't need
1) the 20kg of excess weight I have cultated in the last 18 months - will eliminate by sensible eating & more gym - getting rid of it will improve my heath (also see 8)

2) to keep breaking up my viola rosin - will eliminate by paying a bit more attention to where it is - getting rid of this will save me money & the hassle of keep replacing it

3) a long commute from SE12 to Windsor to work - will eliminate by no longer working there - getting rid of it will save me fuel, allow me to sleep normal hour, and give me quality time with Maya instead of her being stuck in a car for hours.

4) so many books - will eliminate by getting rid of those I know I won't read again / did not enjoy - getting rid of them will allow me to keep a tidier house

5) the "in tray" in my kitchen - will eliminate with a cold turkey approach - getting rid of it will contribute to a tidier house.

6) debt - will eliminate by paying off all (except my mortagage) by September - getting rid of it will allow me to take a paydrop and move jobs to get a better work - life balance

7) high-maintenance friends - will eliminate by not letting them be a drain - getting rid of them (or rather their maintenance requirements) will reduce my stress levels.

8) poor health - will eliminate by 1) - 7) as well as removing other things contributing to my stress levels and mental / physical  emotional exhaustion - getting rid of this will allow me to enjoy life more

9) my current wardrobe - will eliminate by chucking the lot into a black bag - getting rid of it will force me to replace them with some new & smarter clothes.

10) online procrastination - will eliminate by shutting the PC off earlier - getting rid of it will give me back some valuable down-time which I am desperate for as I am so time-poor

11) scatter-gun shopping - will eliminate by going back to meal planning and monthly home-delivery - getting rid of it will save me money and get me back into the habit of cooking proper meals at home again.

Sat, Dec. 11th, 2010, 12:04 pm
[#Reverb10] December 10 – Wisdom

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Not sure I've made any yet - pressure is on then for the next 3 weeks to get one in before the end of the year!!

Sat, Dec. 11th, 2010, 12:03 pm
[#Reverb10] December 9 - Party Prompt

What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

It's not that I have been unsociable this year per se - I have been to numerous gigs & rehearsals, I've met loads of friends for dinner, drinks and / or coffee, I've been to the theatre & book clubs - but social gatherings? Having missed both weddings I was (very kindly) invited to, there was only one gathering that I attended this year and that was my daughter's second birthday party. Stop rolling your eyes at the back! Yes, I appreciate that a party for a 2-year old is not what most people would expect to rock their socks off but this one did, and not for the usual reasons. No, it wasn't a riotous affair. No there was not intense levels of anebriation. And no, there were not any taboo couplings under the stairs. But what there was was a room full of friends who cared enough to come down to Deepest Darkest South London and spend their Saturday afternoon at a toddler's birthday party and that on it's own was enough. The fact that there was a table full of lovely food, a specially-created Mayakovski cocktail and a happy girl made it even more memorable.

People: 8 close friends who had been particularly supportive of us during Maya's formative years (and 3 others sadly in anstentia)

Music: "Silly Songs"

Food: buffet of speciality breads & cheese, dips, sun-driend tomatoes, olives, crisps, blinis, cakes, trifle and home-made banana loaf.

Drink: a punch bowl full of Mayakovski cocktail and soft drinks on the side.

Clothes: casual dress. Toddler wore lace-effect leggings, white top and a variety of birthday presents.

Shennanigans: present opening, balloon animals, the Hokey Cokey, trampoline-building.

Wed, Dec. 8th, 2010, 11:50 pm
[#Reverb10] December 8 - Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

What a hard question! I'm not sure I *am* different at all - the older I get the more I fade into the social ether. And as for what  I do that lights people up? The only person who I can think of who ever gets excited when they see me is my daughter and that's because I give her CBeebeies, fruit smoothies and multiple renditions of the Baby Chick book, none of which are about *me* specifically.

Of anyone wants to answer this question for me please do! And I can use the answers as my memoir entry rather than the paragraph above :-)

Tue, Dec. 7th, 2010, 08:25 pm
[#Reverb10] December 7 - Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
Hard question - the only thing I can think of is a Facebook community that connects musicians with people looking for musicians (for work) - my online presence is generally spent on email and contacting existing friends through Facebook and LJ or skimming through the BBC, Ebay, Amazon and LoveFilm sites. And that's pretty much it. As for offline, I get very little time outside of work & Small Child duties and that which I do have, I spend playing music with groups & people I already knew before this year.

As for what would I like to join in 2011 - I'd like to see more activity in the muscian group I have mentioned above and then maybe something language-connected that could help me teach myself / practise some basic skills.

Mon, Dec. 6th, 2010, 08:52 pm
[#Reverb10] December 6 - Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

A photobook of my holiday to Cuba last year - materials were digital photos and an online software package.

Yes, yes, I know the questioner is hoping for things like" knitted baby booties" or "hand-crafted Christmas decorations" but I don't do that sort of thing. Not because of any lack of interest but because of time constraints - my spare time is filled with music and reading and I simply don't find room for creativity. That said I did start a small tapestry for my daughter not long after she was born, and made some Christmas cards last year. As for what I'd LIKE to make - more imaginative homecooked meals, updates to clothes, cards (birthdays, Xmas etc). Oh and I'd like to learn to bookbind (ergo "making" books).

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